XGIMI may not be the most popular brand in India, but the company has developed quite a reputation overseas for its premium projectors. Not so long ago, the company launched its Horizon projector series that offers up to 4K viewing experience with an inbuilt sound system by the US-based Harmon Kardon. Apart from that, both regular Horizon and Horizon Pro projectors run on Android 10 TV out-of-the-box, giving you the benefits of a smart TV as well.
For our review, we tested the entry-level XGIMI Horizon for nearly a month, and the company also sent their proprietary XGIMI Floor Stand for projectors. Both, by no means, fall in the affordable product category and are designed for a niche market. For clarity, the XGIMI Horizon carries a price tag of Rs 1,25,000, and the Floor Stand separately costs Rs 11,999. Here’s our breakdown of the two:
Design: There’s no doubt that the XGIMI Horizon is one of the most attractive home and office projectors in the market. It features a square-shaped box design with a mesh-like finish around the corners for the speakers. At the top, you get the power button as well as volume rockers and play/pause button. Interestingly, volume rockers and play/pause button support touch; however, they still have a tactile texture that could be useful if you’re in a dark room. The packaging also includes a sleek remote to control the projector alongside a power adapter.
At the back, you get vents for heat dissipation and all ports for connectivity. The XGIMI Horizon carries two HDMI and USB 2.0 ports and a single optical port. Apart from the power or DC port, there’s also an audio jack for headphones or external sound systems. The projector comes in a black colour finish, which elevates its premium look. At the front, of course, we get the lens, but unfortunately, there’s no lens cover.
The XGIMI Horizon isn’t the heaviest projector (roughly 3Kg), so carrying it from home to office or one room to another room should not be an issue. That being said, it is not the sleekest projector in the market and measures 208.4×218.4×136.2m. It also runs on power, so users must decide the proper spot beforehand for the best viewing experience.
Performance and features: Coming to the performance, the XGIMI Horizon comes loaded with features that are easy to use and most importantly, simple to navigate. In its native form, the Horizon project runs on Android TV 10 that powers many smart TVs. It means users can use their regular Alphabet-owned apps like YouTube and even Gmail. Besides, you can download all the popular OTT platforms via the Play store. The projector is meant to offer 32GB of inbuilt storage paired with 2GB RAM. There’s support for Google Assistant virtual assistant that we found a great addition to the smart-projector.
One of the many things that one would expect from a premium projector, especially when the cost is above 1 lakh, is display settings. In that regard, the XGIMI Horizon ticks all boxes and is super easy to operate. Its remote has a dedicated button for auto-focus, though we did not face any problems even while projecting pictures on a flat wall. There’s also an auto-keystone correction option that fits the screen according to the frame. If you’re still unhappy, you get the manual keystone correction option too. The projector is also responsive and takes barely 10 seconds to boot. All users need to ensure is a stable internet connection via dual-band Wi-Fi or LAN option. Overall, the XGIMI Horizon performed surprisingly fast, and if we have to nitpick something at this price point, maybe the addition of Wi-Fi 6 support could have sufficed.
Display: Regardless of all the features, getting a projector is pointless if the display quality does not match the standards. As mentioned, we tested the vanilla XGIMI Horizon that offers Full-HD video viewing quality. If you want to amp up viewing the experience, there’s also the XGIMI Horizon Pro that offers 4K resolution, but it costs higher at Rs 1,87,500.
There’s no doubt XGIMI Horizon offers vivid and crisp viewing quality. One of the best ways to check whether the projector delivers good picture quality is by analysing the corners. If the corner lacks colours or fades too much, you will spot inconsistencies. In that case, XGIMI Horizon offered a uniform picture quality across corners with rich colours and accurate blacks. All this is possible with its 2200 lumens peak brightness and support for HDR 10 and HLG formats. The XGIMI Horizon also supports a maximum resolution of 4096×2160 pixels at 60Hz refresh rate. The company claims a lamp life of 25,000 hours with one year of warranty.
In terms of projection parameters, the XGIMI Horizon can project a screen size of up to 300 inches, depending on the throw distance. Most of the content we viewed was on a roughly 70-inch screen (diagonally), and the image quality was fantastic. But if you’re watching live programmes like football, the projector still stumbled slightly with dynamic movements. In this case, the tiny football on the huge screen flickered when we were streaming a live match via Disney+ Hotstar. XGIMI also claims the projector can be used in rooms with ambient lights, but that could be a stretch in comparison to TVs. Overall, the XGIMI Horizon is still limited to rooms with dim lights (at least) or in dark rooms at best. There’s a gaming mode as well, but we couldn’t test that feature.
Sound: The vivid display quality of XGIMI Horizon is complimented by its sound system, which may not be the best but definitely not a limitation of the projector. We get a dual 8W (each) Harman Kardon speaker system with DTS and Dolby Audio support. The sound quality is good, but the lack of punchy bass can affect the full viewing quality. But the inbuilt speakers were loud enough in a roughly 420 sq ft bedroom.
Remote and XGIMI Floor Stand: The XGIMI Horizon comes pre-bundled with a remote that is easily one of the favourites that I’ve tested. The Bluetooth-enabled remote features a minimal design with a metal finish. Although it may feel heavy at first, you will get used to the overall balance. At the back, there’s a button that swiftly pulls out the slot for dual triple-A batteries. The remote features dedicated buttons for auto-focus, Google Assistant, Settings.
Similarly, XGIMI Floor Stand is a distinct monopod that not only lets users adjust the viewing angles but solves dangling wire problems. The round-shaped base has a dedicated compartment where users can snugly put the power adaptor, and its wire can be manoeuvred internally through the hollow rods. Each rod measures 49cm, and its fullest form, the XGIMI Projector Floor Stand can attain a height of 89cm. Unfortunately, the company is yet to release a base to fit the XGIMI Horizon’s power adapter, but you can still mount the projector at the top and adjust the viewing angles. It can be used with cameras and other projectors as well. So if you have the budget, it is a great addition that also elevates the overall look and feel of the room. [A quick note: the manual guide for the Floor Stand does not come in English, therefore a few YouTube tutorials could suffice.]
Verdict: So far, it is clear that the XGIMI Horizon and Floor Stand are well-thought products, and the projector particularly is spot on for modern home theatres in terms of both looks and functionality. But, if you’re under the impression that the projector can replace your everyday TV or monitor - a short answer is ‘no.’ That is primarily because its picture quality has limitations in a bright environment.
That being said, the XGIMI Horizon is one of the best projectors in the market, and the addition of Android TV 10 takes the overall smart-viewing experience to another level. XGIMI is yet to make an impression in the Indian market, but with products like these, it won’t be long before competitors like ViewSonic and BenQ start feeling the heat.